May 2004


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UVM Women's Hockey <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 17 May 2004 20:38:34 -0400
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For Immediate Release                                           Contact: Gordon Woodworth
May 17, 2004                                                                            802/656-1110

Eight Outstanding Senior Student-Athletes
Honored at UVM Senior Letterwinners’ Dinner

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- The University of Vermont athletic department honored eight
outstanding student-athletes at the annual senior letterwinners’ dinner Monday
night on the Spirit of Ethan Allen III. Four different awards - the Semans
Trophy, the Sunderland Memorial Trophy, the Wasson Athletic Prize and the J.
Edward Donnelly Award - were handed out, with a male and female recipient in
each. In addition, the Athletic Department Award was presented to local
businessman Walt Levering, a longtime supporter of UVM Athletics.

Semans Trophy – For Leadership, Loyalty and Service
BECKY DALEY (Rutland, Vermont) Hockey – A captain of the women’s hockey team in
2003-04, Becky Daley finished her career as the all-time leader in varsity
games played (116) and completed her career playing in 94 consecutive contests.
Daley also ranks 37th among the school’s all-time leading scorers. A two-time
ECAC All-Academic Team selection and three-time member of the Dean’s List, she
was a finalist for the Sarah Devens Award, given annually to an ECAC
student-athlete who best combines on-ice achievement with exemplary
sportsmanship, leadership and commitment. Daley is a member of the
Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, Vice President of the Senior Class Council
and a member of the Mortar Board and Psi Chi Honor Societies. She will graduate
next week with honors with dual degrees in communication sciences and
psychology and will pursue a graduate degree in audiology at Northeastern
University next year. “Becky is a leader among her peers because of her
unwavering selflessness and her desire to improve within the framework of the
team goals and expectations,” Coach Dennis Miller said. “She is not afraid to
challenge her teammates to raise their own expectations of themselves.” Daley
won the Barbara Bates Award, given to the team member who best embodies the
spirit, inspiration, dedication and humility upon which the women's hockey
program is built.

JOHN ANTONUCCI, (Gloversville, N.Y.) Soccer – A four-year standout on the men’s
soccer team, John Antonucci was a solid leader on and off the field as Vermont
advanced to the America East title game twice in his four years. His two starts
as a freshman were in two of the team’s biggest wins. His first career goal was
the game-winner as UVM topped Siena, 1-0, to win the Smith Barney Classic and
he stepped in to start at midfield in a 2-1 overtime win over Hofstra to win
the America East title. The next two seasons he battled nagging injuries and
was a regular at defensive midfield. He was instrumental in the run to the
conference title game in 2002 and was elected team captain in 2003. Last season
he recorded his first career assist against Saint Joseph's and was superb in
the 1-1 tie with national power North Carolina and in the 0-0 tie with Harvard.
Antonucci then scored two game-winning goals in a three-game stretch. Active
off the field, Antonucci volunteered with Vermont Special Olympics and was a
member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. An economics major, he was on
the selection committee which led to the hiring of Jesse Cormier. The
overwhelming selection by his teammates as the 2003 winner of the Donoson
FitzGerald Award for perseverance, integrity and sportsmanship. Following
graduation, Antonucci will be working with young people in the Dominican
Republic using soccer to pass along life skills and enhance their education.

Sunderland Memorial Trophy – For Persistence in Overcoming Obstacles
CHRISTINA GINGRAS (Barre, Vermont) Cross Country/Track and Field – An eight-time
America East Academic Honor Roll selection, Tee Gingras overcame a series of
injuries in her sophomore year to become an All-Conference champion and school
record-holder in track and field. Vermont’s first or second finisher in every
cross country meet this year, Gingras led Vermont to a victory at the
season-opening race at the UMass Invitational in September and was UVM's top
runner at the prestigious Murray Keating Invitational, finishing 14th to lead
UVM to a fifth-place finish.  At the New England Championships, she finished
42nd with a time of 18:44, and she placed 13th overall at the America East
Championships with a time of 18:31. She finished 17th in the 2000 America East
Cross Country Championships and earned America East All-Conference honors in
several track events during the spring of 2001. She won the 1,000 meters at the
America East Indoor Championship in 2004, holds the school record in the event
and received All-New England honors in 2004 in outdoor track. “Tee is as steady
a performer as I have seen in my years of coaching,” Coach Matt Belfield said.
Gingras will graduate with a degree in nutrition and food sciences.
MATT SHEFTIC (Essex Junction, Vermont) Basketball – Matt Sheftic has overcome
several setbacks to help the men’s basketball team to back-to-back conference
titles. During his sophomore year, his sister Lauren suffered a brain aneurysm.
The illness to his sister, as well as academic and Army ROTC commitments,
prompted Sheftic to take a red-shirt year for personal reasons. That December,
Lauren succumbed to the illness and in April, he rejoined the team. In his
first game back, he recorded a double-double against Eastern Michigan and he
earned all-tournament honors as Vermont won the Pepsi Marist Classic. He went
on to average 10.8 points and 6.3 rebounds, but saved his best basketball for
the tournament. He was 10-for-10 from the field in a win over Albany and then
scored a career-high 23 points in the 56-55 win over B.U. for Vermont’s
first-ever America East title and trip to the NCAA tournament. He became UVM’s
first winner of the Reggie Lewis Award as the tournament’s Most Outstanding
Player. Before the 2003-04 season, Sheftic suffered a knee injury that required
surgery. After extensive rehab, he returned to the court for the final 10 games
of the season and again helped Vermont to another America East title. Through
it all, Sheftic expressed no regrets. “When you look back over my whole career,
yes, I have had some tough times, but I played with some unbelievable players;
played on some unbelievable teams; played against guys who have gone on to play
in the pros.” In his final game, against UConn in the 2004 NCAA Tournament,
Sheftic became the 27th Catamount to play in 100 career games.

Wasson Athletic Prize - For Outstanding Academic and Athletic Achievement
SCOTTY JONES (Katy, Texas) Basketball – A four-year regular who played a big
role on two America East Championship teams, Scotty Jones has been an excellent
student in mechanical engineering. He completed his degree requirements last
May and took advantage of a fifth year to earn a second degree in statistics.
Named to the America East Academic Honor Roll twice, and a likely recipient
again this year, Jones has a 3.10 cumulative GPA. Last summer, he successfully
completed an internship at General Dynamics in Burlington. He has a standing
job offer, one of several, with the national firm. Jones was among the
conference leaders in rebounds and blocked shots for four years. He finished as
UVM’s all-time leader in games played (123) and was fourth all-time in blocked
shots (120), 10th in rebounds (600) and eighth in field-goal percentage (.528).
In 2001-02, he played in just three games due to a knee injury that developed
into an arthritic condition that has hampered him the past two seasons. Still,
he was the top frontcourt reserve in America East in 2002-03 and the starting
center this past season as Vermont won a school-record 22 games and repeated as
conference champions. He was very effective down the stretch when Taylor
Coppenrath was sidelined, posting three straight double-doubles. Following the
season he won the Friends of Basketball Award for service on the court and in
the classroom and the Front Row Award for hustle.

MICHELE PALMER (Plymouth, Mass.) Cross Country/Track and Field – One of the top
cross country runners in the region for four years, Michele Palmer is a
nine-time America East Academic Honor Roll selection, a two-time NCAA qualifier
in cross country, and a conference champion in track and field. An
environmental studies major with a 3.72 cumulative GPA, Palmer was named to the
Verizon Academic All-District I Second Team in 2002 and was also selected as an
Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar that same year. Named a US Cross Country Coaches
Association Academic All-American in 2003, she helped the Catamounts garner
2003 Academic All-American Cross Country “with Distinction” honors from the
Women’s Intercollegiate Cross Country Coaches Association. A three-time
runner-up at the America East Cross Country Championship, she was named to the
All-New England team three times and qualified for the NCAA Cross Country
Championship twice, in 2000 and 2001. In 2000, she became the first freshman
runner at Vermont to qualify for the NCAAs and was the second-fastest freshman
at in the elite race. She was also named to the NCAA All-District I team in
2000, her freshman season, Palmer was also the America East Scholar-Athlete for
Track and Field in 2002 and is a 5,000-meter America East champion in both
indoor and outdoor track and field. Earlier this month she earned All-New
England honors for the third straight year in the 5,000 meters.

J. Edward Donnelly Award - Honors the Outstanding Senior Athletes
MATT KNITTLE (Stowe, Vermont) Baseball – A three-time All-American and the 2000
NCAA National Champion in the giant slalom, Matt Knittle battled back from a
series of injuries throughout his career and earned his third All-America
certificate in his last race. A graduate with a degree in community development
and applied economics, Knittle was a co-captain of the 2004 team and had an
excellent year, recording 10 top-10 finishes in 12 races leading up to the NCAA
Championship. He entered the 2004 NCAAs as the East’s top seed in the giant
slalom and the seventh seed in the slalom, and posted first-place finishes in
the GS at the St. Lawrence and Williams carnivals. At the 2004 EISA
Championship, Knittle finished third in the GS and seventh in the slalom. In
his final race as a collegiate skier, Knittle finished eighth in the slalom at
the 2004 NCAA Championship with a two-run total of 1:16.21. “Matt has been one
of the most consistent and tenacious competitors in UVM history,” Coach Bill
Reichelt said. “His resume includes a national title, the 2001 EISA slalom
crown and 28 other top-10 finishes. He has been a strong leader on and off the
mountain.” Knittle competed in the 2001 World University Games for the United
States, and also in the 2001 US Ski Team Gold Cup.
KRISTAL KOSTIEW (Northwood, N.H.) Track and Field – The most decorated women’s
track and field performer in America East history, Kristal Kostiew has won 14
America East individual titles. She has been selected as the America East’s
Most Outstanding Field Performer four times, winning the honor in three
consecutive outdoor seasons (2002, 200 and 2004) and during the 2004 indoor
season. Earlier this year she became the first America East athlete to win four
straight 20-pound weight throw indoor titles, adding to her list of
accomplishments. She is the two-time defending New England champion in the
20-pound weight throw and won the ECAC title in the event in 2003 while being
named All-New England 12 times. She won three straight America East javelin
titles, and qualified for the NCAA Regional in the hammer throw last year. She
owns three school records, in the 20-pound weight and shot put indoors and the
hammer throw outdoors. This season, she has qualified for the NCAA Outdoor
Track and Field Regionals in the shot put, hammer and discus. Kostiew is a
six-time America East Academic Honor Roll selection and was named to the
Verizon Academic All-District Second Team in 2002. Very involved in the
student-athlete advisory committee, she represented UVM at the NCAA Leadership
Conference in 2003 and was named one of two Outstanding Future Professionals by
the Vermont Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance.
She also was named the Student-Athlete of the Year by the UVM Women’s Center
and the Women’s Studies Department. Kostiew will graduate this weekend with a
degree in physical education.